Few Americans Feel They’re Fully Represented in Advertising

September 21, 2021
YouGov Perceptions of Representation in Advertising Sept2021

Although a majority of US adults have said that diversity in advertising is important, fewer than one-quarter (23%) agree that people like themselves are fully represented by the people they see in advertisements. This is per a survey from YouGov that looks at whether consumers around the world feel they are represented in advertising.

Some 42% of US adults surveyed do not feel they are represented by the people they see in ads. This is about on par with the 44% of adults across 17 global markets who feel the same. However, only 19% of global respondents agree that they are fully represented by the people they see in ads.

While the US has a slightly above-average share of adults who feel they are represented in ads, there are other countries with an even higher share. In India, close to 4 in 10 (38% of) adults agree they are fully represented in ads, while a fair share of adults in the UAE (34%) and Indonesia (32%) also agree. On the other hand, a majority of German (60%) and Swedish (59%) adults disagree that people like themselves are fully represented by people they see in ads.

When it comes to diverse representation in advertising in the US, past research has shown that there is room for improvement. In a survey from Horowitz Research, about one-quarter (23%) of multicultural consumers feel they are ignored by advertisers. However, the same study also found that two-fifths of consumers don’t think ads have to feature people of the same race or ethnicity to resonate with them. Separately, a study by SeeHer and Dentsu found that White, Black and Hispanic women agree that they want to see brands accurately represent women in advertising.

Read more here.

About the Data: “The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 509 and 2012 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in June 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.”


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